Dig Too Deep is a powerful novel to engage middle and senior high school readers, a worthy winner of the 2017 Green Earth Book Award for Young Adult-Fiction.
Poisoned wells. A bloody cough. Secrets. And silence.
This is the story of a town that looked the other way.
And a girl who didn’t.
Amy Allgeyer provides a strong sense of presence and earthiness, evocatively portraying the gritty and poisoned mining town community living below Tanner’s Peak in Kentucky. The story combines realistic teen fiction, crime, mystery, danger, love, loss and the fickleness of friendship and family. Cleverly employing double entendres from the title onward, readers are quickly caught up the in the rapidly downward spiraling life of 17 year old Liberty Briscoe whose mother ash been imprisoned for violent political protest, Liberty is forced to leave her privileged life in Washington to live with her granny in Ebbottsville, Kentucky. The serious illness of the her grandmother, the undrinkable orange tap water, the disappearance of the ‘peak’ of Tanner’s Peak through mountain top mining and the blind apathy and acceptance of the community raise serious concerns for Liberty. She starts to investigate and is soon plunged into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger. Her drive for answers and justice lead to even tougher questions—should she turn to violence and end up like her mother or give up her quest for the sake of keeping the peace?
A strong and passionate story that provides many starting points to explore issues, activism, sustainable mining and environmental protection. Information and teaching resources are available from Amy’s website.
This novel would support investigations in Year 8 Geography: Landforms and landscapes with strong parallels and opportunities for comparison between global practices in mining and sustainability.